Cable networks eye Sarah Palin reality show

Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:08am EDT
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By James Hibberd

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Sarah Palin is closer to landing a deal for a reality show.

Sources say A&E Networks and Discovery Communications want to acquire Palin's project, which focuses on the ex-governor giving a guided tour of her native Alaska -- visiting fishing boats and taking a trip to a gold mine, to cite a couple of examples. Mark Burnett is executive producer of the project, whose working title is "Sarah Palin's Alaska."

A&E Networks hasn't officially put in a bid for the show, but sources indicate that the company is interested in the project for several of its brands -- A&E, History or Lifetime.

Discovery Communications is likewise vying for the project for one or more of its outlets, such as TLC. Some sources say the flagship Discovery Channel is no longer in play, while others say otherwise.

The former vice presidential candidate is asking for between $1 million and $1.5 million per episode, a hefty amount for a first-year cable series.

Palin initially pitched the show to broadcast networks. Given the show's laid-back nature theme and lack of high-stakes drama that tends to typify broadcast reality hits, industry executives see cable as a better fit.

A&E is the home of bold reality fare like "Intervention" and "Dog the Bounty Hunter," while Discovery has compatible outdoors series, such as Alaska-set "Deadliest Catch."

"It will sell," predicts one insider. "One way or another."

A&E and Discovery had no comment.

<p>Sarah Palin speaks during the National Tea Party Convention at Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee February 6, 2010. REUTERS/Josh Anderson</p>